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UCAT Abstract Reasoning Questions & Tips

What is UCAT abstract reasoning?


UCAT Abstract Reasoning Questions assesses your ability to identify patterns amongst abstract shapes where irrelevant and distracting material may lead to incorrect conclusions. The test, therefore, measures your ability to change track, critically evaluate and generate hypotheses and requires you to query judgements as you go along. In the UKCAT Abstract Reasoning you have 14 minutes (including one minute instructions time) to answer 55 questions that are all based upon different sets of shapes.




Why include the UCAT abstract reasoning?


Quite often patients will present with a myriad of symptoms that a clinician must interpret. The clinician must take into account a number of different factors, some of which might be misleading, before deciphering which ones are pertinent. Making such judgements are akin to those in the UCAT Abstract Reasoning. Research within medicine and dentistry also involves identifying patterns in results in order to generate further hypotheses.




How long do I have to answer UCAT abstract reasoning questions?


14 minutes (with 1 minute of instructions not included within this time)




What is the maximum/minimum score I can achieve in the UCAT avstract reasoning?


Maximum UCAT Abstract Reasoning Score: 900 Minimum UCAT Abstract Reasoning Score: 300 Remember to contact our UCAT Tutors to find out more about how we can boost this score.




What is the average UCAT abstract reasoning score?


The average UKCAT verbal reasoning score over the last four years is 612. Remember to contact our UCAT Tutors to find out more about how we can boost this score.




What are the UCAT abstract reasoning questions like?


There are four types of questions that appear in the UCAT (UKCAT) Abstract Reasoning subtest.

  • Type 1 UCAT Abstract Reasoning Questions: Here you will be presented with two sets of shapes that are labelled “Set A” and “Set B”. You will be given a test shape and be asked to decide whether the test shape belongs to Set A, Set B or Neither.
  • Type 2 UCAT Abstract Reasoning Questions: Here you will be presented with a series of four shapes, and be asked to decide which shape would be the next shape in the series.
  • Type 3 UCAT Abstract Reasoning Questions: You will be presented with a statement that involves a group of shapes. You will be asked to select the shape that completes that statement best, ie, which fills in the gap.
  • Type 4 UCAT Abstract Reasoning Questions: You will be presented with two sets of shapes labelled “Set A” and “Set B” and you will be asked to select which of the four response options belongs to Set A or Set B




UCAT Abstract Reasoning Tips


  • Timing is the most important in the UKCAT Abstract Reasoning - make sure that you pace yourself. Use different milestones throughout the test to ensure that you always know roughly how you are doing. In 2017, 18% of candidates failed to answer every question in the abstract reasoning section.
  • Always start by reviewing Set A and Set B, only once you work out the pattern is it worth looking at the test shapes to answer the question - otherwise, these may be misleading.
  • There are a number of common categories that tend to come up within patterns: number of objects, sides of objects, shading, colour, symmetry, angles, position and direction.
  • You may use the laminated board and permanent marker pen to help where and if necessary.
  • The patterns between Set A and Set B Abstract Reasoning are often linked, once you know what one of them is, it is very likely that the other will only take a few seconds to work out.
  • Use the flag option if you need to, if you find a question hard, guess it and move on.
  • Remember, sometimes patterns are hard, if you’re spending too much time on a question, guess the answers and move on!





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